clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Broncos defense is a light in an otherwise dark season

When you consider the rash of injuries the unit has had since before the season even started, it makes this 2020 showing even more remarkable.

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Let’s change things up and focus on a positive.

Yes, the Denver Broncos are on the cusp of their fourth-straight losing season. And there is still a huge question mark at quarterback.

What is not up for debate is how good the Broncos defense has been this season. On the MHR Radio Podcast, both Adam Malnati and I are blown away. When you consider the rash of injuries the unit has had since before the season even started, it makes this 2020 showing even more remarkable.

The most recent evidence of all of this is what the Broncos did against the Kansas City Chiefs. They held Patrick Mahomes to his second-fewest point total (22) since he became a starting quarterback. Denver also held the Chiefs to 3-for-10 on third down and 0-for-4 in the red zone.

In terms of defensive stats, the latter one is the most important. And since the start of the 2019 season, no defense has been better in the red zone than the Broncos. Per the organization’s weekly release, Denver is allowing a touchdown on only 39 of 90 opponent trips (43.3%) into the red zone. The release adds that after leading the league in red zone defense in 2019, the Broncos are second in the league defensively this season (21-of-44 for 47.7%).

Now imagine what this defense would look like with Von Miller opposite Bradley Chubb and Malik Reed. Or a Jurrell Casey and Mike Purcell to aid Shelby Harris (pay that man his money).

In that Kansas City game in particular, rookie Michael Ojemudia played a pretty dang good game and even got a shout out from Vic Fangio this week.

One area Denver’s defense could get better at is takeaways. That’s the other key stat in my estimation when it comes to defense. But given how bad the Broncos offense is this season, dead last in the NFL with 28 turnovers, it wouldn’t matter much.

The point of this isn’t to wash over the fact the Broncos are on the verge of a fourth-straight losing season. Or to say that this is somehow acceptable. It is to point out that the play of the defense has been rather incredible this season given the circumstances.

And to say that it can get even better.

Here’s hoping Denver can figure out the quarterback position at some point.

Broncos Blast

Each Saturday, I do a segment on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM. This week, we discuss whether the Broncos are a quarterback away from competing. If Denver had competent QB play, is it a winning team? I also give my analysis and prediction.

Broncos News

Broncos At Panthers Preview: What Do We Make Of Denver?
The Broncos are on the verge of their fourth-straight losing season. Yet Denver has shown improvement in two of the last three games. So ... what do we make of the Broncos heading into Carolina?

#DENvsCAR’s Burning Questions: Can the Broncos continue their red-zone success?
As the Broncos head into the final quarter of their season, there’s still plenty to prove — both as a team and as individuals.

‘It would be huge for me’: Double-digit sacks within reach for Bradley Chubb, would quiet internal doubts
Only Von Miller (30) and Elvis Dumervil (21) have more quarterback takedowns than Chubb through the first 32 games of their careers.

Panthers Christian McCaffrey not expected to play against Broncos |
Christian McCaffrey has a quad injury that will prevent him from playing against the Denver Broncos.

Time to run: Broncos aim to establish physical identity upfront
Denver's offense works best when it runs first.

Broncos hope investment in 2020 rookie class yields big results in 2021 - Denver Broncos- ESPN
The Broncos fielded one of the NFL's youngest teams in 2020 but with an offseason that includes workouts, the current class could make a big jump.

Source -- Carolina Panthers expected to fine players who broke COVID-19 protocols at least $10K
The Carolina Panthers are expected to hand out fines of at least $10,000 to players who broke COVID-19 protocols during the bye week, a league source told ESPN.

NFL News

Do NFL Teams Really Get A Bounce After Firing Their Coaches? | FiveThirtyEight
Interim coaches do see improvement -- though the teams still struggle.

Jim Harbaugh eyes a potential NFL return - ProFootballTalk
Before becoming the head coach at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh’s career consisted of four years, and only four years, at each stop on the coaching trail.

NFL bold predictions, Week 14: Jalen Hurts bedevils Saints' D in starting debut
How will Eagles QB Jalen Hurts perform in his starting debut? Can Nick Chubb and the Browns avenge their Week 1 loss to Baltimore? NFL Network analysts make bold predictions for Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season.

Five Goldilocks teams that COULD shake up NFL playoffs; maximizing Taysom Hill, Jalen Hurts
In this edition of the Scout's Notebook, Bucky Brooks spotlights five Goldilocks teams that COULD shake up the NFL playoffs. Plus, is New Orleans better with Taysom Hill at quarterback? What should we expect from Jalen Hurts?